E.S.T.

Tuesday Wonderland (EmArcy)

The Esbjörn Svensson Trio has managed a rare feat. By dropping rock, funk, electronica, European avant-garde, and classical music into the framework of a jazz trio, the group creates music that plays well to jazz fans, rockers, ravers, and hip hoppers. It's the most successful European jazz band ever and the only non-American jazz act to grace the cover of Downbeat, the arbiter of all that is hip in the genre.

Details

E.S.T. performs on Tuesday, May 22, and Wednesday, May 23, at 8 and 10 p.m. Admission is $16 and $12 respectively; call 510-238-9200 or visit www.yoshis.com for more info.
Yoshi's in Oakland

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If the music wasn't good, the foregoing would be so much hype, but E.S.T.'s improvisational flights deliver the goods. Pianist Esbjörn Svensson's sparkling keyboard work and drummer Magnus Öström's inventive timekeeping are impressive, but it's the jaw dropping work of bass player Dan Bergland that really captures attention. On Tuesday Wonderland, the cryptically named "Fading Maid Preludium" opens with Svensson's fragile melody, then Berglund explodes with a jarring, electronically processed avalanche of noise that brings to mind Black Sabbath at its most ominous. On "Dolores in a Shoestand" Öström's brushes lay down a subtle bossa nova beat for Svensson's baroque improvisations while Berglund alternates between a simple bass line and big washes of orchestral textures. The tune devolves into a funky R&B jam marked by syncopated handclaps and exuberant shouts of appreciation as the players take the tune home. Simpler, contemplative pieces like "Beggar's Blanket" and "Where We Used to Live" show off the trio's firm control of the basics, a harmonious blend of mood, melody, and intelligence. — J. Poet

 
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